The Study of Narrative Applied to a Graphic Novel Essay

The Study of Narrative Applied to a Graphic Novel Essay

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The study of narrative, or narratology can be applied to a graphic novel. This hybrid narrative form that combines words with sequential visual images, can be analyzed the same way that other narrative forms such as novels and even movies can be analyzed. Using a specific graphic novel to analyze its plot, setting, atmosphere and character, a closer examination of that graphic novel can be made. This closer examination will demonstrate if there is legitimacy to the narrative form or if a graphic novel is nothing more than an inflated phrase to describe something that many believe is a juvenile and commercialized form of marketing.
The graphic novel that will be examined is Ghost World by Dan Clowes. This graphic novel was chosen for its simplistic pop style that sometimes is seen as low art as well as for its adolescent themes. Ghost World is the depiction of two girls in the summer between high school and college. They wander almost aimlessly through their world until the end of summer when they must make decisions as to their future.

Plotting the Course
When studying a narrative the events that occur are examined. These events include what happened in the beginning middle and end of the story. These events are considered to be the plot, or what the story is about. This discussion of plot takes into consideration the order in which the events are depicted in comparision to when the events occurred as well as how these events are depicted in terms of setting a pace that can be used as reference.
In terms of plot comparison, to simply make a list of the events as they are depicted might not indicate anything other than an objective list of things that occur during the course of the narrative. It says nothing of t...

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...hifted. This sort of shift does not need a panel change. In fact a panel change may have distracted the reader from this notion by placing the focus on something more tangible like an action sequence or even a quicker pace.
Having a flashback in a flashback, would be a difficult thing to achieve in a narrative format such as a novel or short story. The immediacy of visual clues as opposed to verbal cues help to distinguish something that happened in the past, the conversation between Enid and Melora, and the event that was depicted in the conversation between the two girls. With both events occurring in the past it is difficult to say the least to rely only on verbal clues to indicate the narrative order of events.

Works Cited

Schmidt, Andy. The Insider’s Guide to Creating Comics and Graphic Novels. Cincinatti, Ohio:
Impact. 2009

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